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Kindersley sledge hockey players were involved with three different teams in three different categories and all of their teams went undefeated and won gold at the Western Canadian Sledge Hockey Championships in Red Deer, Alta., on the weekend.
Tracy Lyons, manager of the Kindersley sledge hockey club, said that it was a great weekend.
“It was a huge weekend for us,” she said. “It was a fantastic end to a great year.”
The Kindersley Jr. Klippers played in a four-team division with two Calgary teams and a team from Edmonton.
They swept through the round-robin event and the gold medal final to bring home first place in the four-team division.
They started with a 3-1 win over the Calgary Strikers and followed that up with a 5-0 win over the Edmonton PSA Blades and an 8-3 win over the Calgary Venom to finish 3-0 after rond-robin play and earn a spot in the final. There, they played against the Calgary Venom squad, whom they soundly defeated 9-3.
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Co-coach Ian Kehrer was impressed with how the kids palyed.
“We went into the tournament feeling pretty strong and confident,” he said. “We felt that the team had more experience than the others, with many of them having players moving up to the intermediate division, we thought we could do well.”
He says that his team has worked hard in practice and it showed on the ice.
“The kids worked hard in practice and on the weekend it definitely showed,” he added. “You could see how some of the things we were practising came into play during the games.”
Kehrer also said that the team played more games than ever this year which also makes a big difference.
Experience means a lot and we played more games this year – with our tournament and Regina’s tournament, along with a couple of exhibition games,” he said. “Experience is everything and that definitely makes a big difference.”
One level up, in the Intermediate C division, players from Saskatoon, Bruno and Kindersley formed one team – the Saskatchewan Ice Tornadoes.
Kindersley players were Preston Greenstein, Tristin McBain, Mathew Kehrer, Bret Klassen and Doug Klassen. They were coached by Ted and Brenda Carter of Saskatoon.
There were eight teams in the division divided into two pools.
They started off with a 12-0 win over the Grande Prarie/Lethbridge combined team, they won 9-0 over the Medicine Hat Hounds followed by a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Impact – this gave them a first place finish in their pool and a spot in the final.
This was a much tighter game, but they ended up winning 1-0 on a goal scored by Kindersley’s Tristin McBain in the first period.
In the highest division at the tournament, the Intermediate B division, Braden Close played as a member of the Edmonton Impact B team.
There were three teams competing and the Impact won three straight to claim the win. They started off with a 12-0 win over Edmonton and followed that up with a 4-2 win over Calgary. They advanced to the final against Edmonton and won 11-0.
Lyons said that the tournament wraps up the season for the sledge hockey players, however, there will be a number of classes in the Kindersley schools that will be headed to the rink during April that will be trying the sport out.
The club is always looking for more players and hopes that players will give it a shot and reminds people to look out for a registration date and time at some point in September.